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HELP: If you could Eat ANYTHING...

If you were in Manhattan for just one day and you could eat anything, no alergies, no expense and no real sense of fullness, where would you HAVE to go?

I'm going to be in NYC in a few weeks and I want to savour the best of Manhattan.

So I have room for:
1) Breakfast
2) Snack
3) Lunch
4) Afternoon Treat
5) Dinner
6) Drink
7) Late night indulgence
8) Food to take home with you...

Where would you go? You can only make one pick for each category. I don't care if it's pricy, trendy, fancy or a guy selling pretzels on the corner...I'll take it. I was leaning toward a really elegant and decadent dinner, but i'll take a more casual one if the food is better.

Places NOT to include are: Momofuku, Babo, Katz's, Carnegie, Lombardis, Del Posto, Fiamma, Balthaza, China Grill, Avalon and loads more that i can't recall but that you probably wont put on this list anyway!


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  1. I think that the foie gras appetizer at Gotham Bar would make a find afternoon treat or late night indulgence.

    1 Reply
    1. 1) Breakfast: bagel w/ smoked gaspe salmon from Russ&Daughters
      2) snack: salt-baked squid from NY Noodletown
      3) lunch: sauteed lobsters w/ XO sauce from Cantoon Garden
      4) afternoon treat: Grand Central Oyster Bar, raw oysters and wine
      5) dinner: mutton chop from Keens
      6) drink: wine at Tia Pol, with some fried chickpeas and marinated shark
      7) late night: more wine at Scarpetta w/ an aspargus soup, a black cod entree, and/or dessert
      8) food to take home: guizhou spicy chicken and cold cucumber from Grand Sichuan to eat on the airplane

      1 Reply
      1. re: Simon

        Huddling under the Scarpetta umbrella with Simon, except that I'd just want to finish off my night with more wine and an order of the polenta.

      2. 1) Breakfast

        If it's a Sunday, the Sunday brunch at Aquavit. Other days, latkes and chopped liver from 2nd Ave. Deli.

        2) Snack

        green tea ice from Minamoto Kitchoan

        3) Lunch

        Yasuda omakase

        4) Afternoon Treat

        choux from the Choux Factory

        5) Dinner

        Soto or tasting menu at WD 50

        6) Drink

        bartender's choice at Little Branch

        7) Late night indulgence

        gyro and chicken with rice platter from the S.W. corner of 53rd and 6th Ave. halal vendor

        8) Food to take home with you...

        smoked fish from Russ & Daughters

        1. Breakfast: Pancakes (blueberry) and biscuit/tomato jam/cheese/bacon sandwich at Clinton Street Baking Company.

          Snack: Late morning Shack burger at Shake Shack with a side of custard (hopefully salted caramel is the flavor of the day)

          Lunch: Long lazy lunch with lots of cava at Casa Mono - foie gras, sweetbreads, etc.

          Afternoon Treat: pizza at Patsy's in East Harlem or the gnocchi at Hearth, sitting at the bar (early evening)

          Dinner: Fried chicken and waffles at Amy Ruth's, or maybe the halal cart at 53rd and 6th, then stop into WD-50 and have their dessert tasting menu.

          Drinks: A few hours at the bar of Death & Co or sitting at the bar at Milk & Honey

          Late night indulgence: deep fried hot dog with jalapeno, cucumber, and onion wrapped in bacon from Crif Dogs

          Food to take home with you: donuts from Donut Plant, cupcakes from Sage, chocolates from Kees, olive oil cookies from Abraco, vacuum sealed pastrami from Katz's, fruit focaccia/brioche/chocolate bread from Balthazar Bakery

          1. 1) Breakfast: Everything bagel with nova at Barney Greengrass
            2) Snack: Morcilla, alcapurria and costillas from Cuchifritos
            3) Lunch: Yasuda omakase (if cimui wouldn't mind making room at the bar for me)
            4) Afternoon treat: Dobostorte and Viennese coffee at Demel or Sabarsky
            5) Dinner: Gourmand menu with pairings at Eleven Madison Park
            6) Drink: Angel's share and there'd be no line
            7) Late night indulgence: steak tartare, oysters and champagne at Employees Only. Who am I kidding? We'd probably get cocktails, too.
            8) Food to take home: Fuqi feipian from Grand Sichuan for the plane ride; Kee's chocolates and the stock at Russ and Daughters for gifts.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              Yasuda omakase as mentioned above...

              1. re: JungMann

                I'd save you a seat at Yasuda for sure -- especially if you let me join you at Employee's Only. :)

              2. 1) Breakfast: BISCUIT SANDWICH @ CLINTON ST. BAKING CO.
                7) Late night indulgence: HAAGEN DAZS FLEUR DE SEL CARAMEL ICE CREAM
                8) Food to take home with you...COMPOST COOKIES FROM MOMOFUKU MILK BAR


                3 Replies
                1. re: LeahBaila

                  breakfast - Uova Modenese (an Italian corned beef hash) from Locanda Verde with a side of garlic potatoes
                  snack - dumplings from nam zhou in chinatown--handrolled and made to order
                  lunch - Boscaiola pie from Co.
                  afternoon treat - a la surena arepa from caracas arepas
                  dinner - four course prix fix from marea
                  drink - inoteca liquori has a great selection
                  late nite - burger from the spotted pig
                  food to take home - russ and daughters' chocolate bagel pudding

                  1. re: skooldya1

                    What on earth is chocolate bagel pudding? It sounds like it could be mildly addictive!

                    1. re: JungMann

                      It is--it's a magical concoction:chunks of if I remember correctly, either semi-sweet or not too bitter dark chocolate (it's been about a year since I've had it last), mixed in with mashed up peices of bagels--both the crust and the inner dough. Basically the best chocolate bread pudding ever.

                2. 1) Breakfast - Pastrami & Corned Beef combo sandwhich at Sarges, nothing says "I'm ready to tackle this day" like a face off with a delicious sandwhich as big as your head.
                  2) Snack - four of five raciones at Casa Mono
                  3) Lunch - Either the burger, or the day's special at Prune.
                  4) Afternoon Treat - Wine and cheese at Artisnal.
                  5) Dinner - This is the hard one... either La Grenouille, Per Se or Eleven Madison Park. Since you said I won't get full, then all three.
                  6) Drink - Scotch at the bar at Keens.
                  7) Late night indulgence - Roasted bone marrow at Blue Ribbon
                  8) Food to take home with you... Five pounds of pastrami from Sarges (make sure they throw in some rye and mustard.)

                  1. 1) Breakfast - can't answer because it's at Balthazar, and you don't want to know!
                    2) Snack - bialy from H&H with Nova from Zabar's
                    3) Lunch - Pad Sie Euw with Shrimp at Bennie's Thai
                    4) Afternoon Treat - Macarons au Chocolat from Maison du Chocolat
                    5) Dinner - Foie Gras and Scallop entree at Tocqueville, and whatever else you want to go with it
                    6) Drink - Licore 43 at El Charro Espanol
                    7) Late night indulgence - bacon cheeseburger at Corner Bistro
                    8) Food to take home with you... bagels or bialies for the next day's breakfast from H&H

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      Well, the only reason i said not to is bec I know they're great!

                    2. Strictly Manhattan??.. Meaning Peter Luger cannot be on the this then....

                      Breakfast- Keens Porterhouse
                      Snack- Keens Prime Rib
                      Lunch- Craft Porterhouse
                      Dinner- Strip House Porterhouse

                      Hey you said no feeling of fullness right? haha

                      But is all seriousness..

                      For Breakfast I would go with Clinton Street Bakery blueberry pancakes, brown sugar bacon, biscuits and rapsberry jam.

                      Lunch- Maybe EMP or Rare Bar and Grill for their t-bone burger and sweet potato fries with maple dipping sauce.

                      Dinner is too hard for me- Any of the above steakhouses are incredible.

                      1. 1) Lemon ricotta waffle at Sarabeth's
                        2) Balthazar chocolate donut
                        3) hot pastrami from 2nd Av Deli, chocolate soda, and the matzo ball soup or soup dumplings at New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe.
                        4) Macarons and tea from Macaron Cafe on W 23rd
                        5) Jean Georges
                        6) black lychee tea with jelly or the Romeo and Juliet at St. Alp's teahouse or bubble tea at Quickly.
                        7) Cookies n cream frozen yogurt from 16 Handles (open late) or Flurt frozen yogurt.
                        8) Kee's chocolates and some black and whites from Moishe's. Bagels from Ess-a-bagel. (Brought these on a plane for friends once - they appreciated them!)

                        IRL, I would have had really bad acid reflux by lunch, but it was fun to play :)

                        1. The tavern room at Grammarcy Tavern, to have a cheese plate with a couple of glasses of white wine and a hot chocolate martini for dessert. Perfect lunch or late afteroon snack...(although we are never hungry for dinner afterwards).

                          1. 1) BREAKFAST: Truffled Egg Toast - 'inoteca
                            2) SNACK: Anything, Labrotorio del Gelato (near 'inoteca)
                            3) LUNCH: Jean Georges is a great lunch deal and will take the elegant meal out of the way
                            4) AFTERNOON TREAT: Oysters outside at AquaGrill
                            5) DINNER: WD-50
                            6) DRINK: Cocktails at Pegu Club or Sips at Brandy Library
                            7) LATE-NIGHT INDULGENCE: Snacks and more cocktails at Employees Only
                            8) FOOD TO TAKE HOME WITH YOU: Hit up momofuku milk bar

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: CocHoliday

                              at momofuku milk bar, the cookies (at room temperature) are great but anything they have to pull out of the refrigerated case (e.g. cake) is almost inedible.

                            2. Thanks everyone! we have some awesome choices and I'm really torn.

                              So if we want one really fancy night where do we go? I want to do Per Se but that might have to wait until the next visit so I'm left with:

                              1) Bernadin
                              2) Jean Georges
                              3) EMP
                              4) Marea
                              5) La Grenouille
                              6) WD-50

                              Did I miss any? I'm looking for this particular dinner to be very dressed up, fine dining, great ambience, excellent service, food but still innovative and interesting enough to remain memorable.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: saltysweet

                                The REALLY fancy night I out of your choices, I would pick Le Bernardin or Jean Georges. If I can choose off your list, I would say:
                                Per Se
                                Blue Hill Stone Barns
                                ....and had a very decadent dinner at the dining room in the Carlyle Hotel

                                There are sooooooooo many to pick from, but out of all the ones you chose, I would NOT go to Marea for a special dinner....not worth they hype in my opinion.

                              2. (1) Breakfast - Moroccan Eggs at Cafe Mogador
                                (2) Snack - Several of Kee's chocolates
                                (3) Lunch - I'm torn here. I'm tempted to say the prix fixe at Jean Georges, because it's a pleasant experience and I always hope it'll be a real Michelin 3-star experience, but it has so far been no more than a Michelin 1-star experience for me. So I might instead go for Galbi/Bulgogi at Madangsui or get soft shell crab, tangerine beef, sea bass with black bean sauce, and any number of other delicious dishes at Cantoon Garden.
                                (4) Afternoon Treat - a slice or two of margherita pizza at Patsy's East Harlem
                                (5) Dinner - 10-course tasting menu at Degustation
                                (6) Drink - Cocktails at Pegu Club
                                (7) Late night indulgence - if before midnight and in a mood for something sweet, a slice of dulce de leche cake and a portion of soft-serve ice cream at Momofuku Milk Bar; otherwise, Momofuku Ssam Bar is open until 2 AM Friday and Saturday. I don't know the menu well enough to know what's best, but I'd go there. I also don't know whether they serve any food with their late-night cocktails from midnight to 2 AM Sunday to Thursday.
                                (8) Food to take home - Well, it would be pastrami from Katz's, but you said not to mention that. So I'll say a selection of more chocolates from Kee's.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Pan

                                  IIRC, the "late night" bar menu only has two items. They serve steamed buns and pickle plates from midnight to 2am Sundays through Thursdays.